Archive for July, 2012

  • Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

  • Take cover

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – nothing beats a cover.

    I worked to get my client on another cover, this time the July issue of Motion System Design magazine. Certainly landing one does take some luck, but there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of making the front page. (more…)


  • Thursday, July 26th, 2012

  • For best success, know your audience

    Marketing is most successful when the efforts are directed at a specific group – single parents, engineers, company owners, etc.  Many programs or projects immediately start in the wrong direction because the marketing team uses their own personal habits and experiences as a reference point on how their target audience acts. (more…)

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  • Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

  • Where does our value come from?

    As a B2B marketing firm, we know the value we provide to our clients can come from any number of sources. Maybe they simply don’t have the time to do the work themselves. Sometimes they lack the tactical expertise in a particular area. In other cases the client truly values having our outside perspective infused into their marketing communications.

    This third area of value is our experience. This is where mutually beneficial and long-term client/agency relationships are formed. As the outside partner, it is our job to draw on our broad experience from various industries and initiatives, bringing additional insights, new ideas and techniques to our client’s internal marketing team. Our client’s job is to be transparent about their business objectives and strategies, provide any research they have and be open about input into their experience on what has or hasn’t worked for them in the past. These fully collaborative working relationships are what produce the best, most impactful and effective campaigns; the ones in which everyone on the combined team can be proud.

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  • Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

  • Getting crafty digital style


    Letterpress print effect

    Shutterstock recently shared a tutorial on how to achieve a letterpress print effect using Photoshop and Illustrator. This is a great way to give a crafty textured look to your work. It also is a great way to learn a little more about the history of the letterpress technique.

    As mentioned in the tutorial, letterpress refers to the technique invented by Johannes Gutenburg whereby a raised surface is inked and pressed onto paper (relief printing). One of the problems with the process stemmed from the fact that, for centuries, both printing plates and paper were handmade, and therefore not perfectly flat, resulting in knocked out areas where ink failed to deposit on the paper. Printers attempted to avoid such errors by increasing the force of their machines so much so that the plates would actually compress and flatten the paper at the point of contact, creating the distinctive indentation and contouring for which letterpress is known today. (more…)

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    It’s rarely a good thing when a member of the media, after reading your press release, asks you if leaving out a dateline is “a sound business strategy or a mistake?”  A friend of mine in the local press sent me a release she had just received, and was wondering if the company intentionally omitted the dateline as a way to simply let people know they were forming a new side business but weren’t ready to announce full details yet, or if was done in error.

    I told her there’s no mistaking this one – it’s a mistake every time.

    This is a case where someone either didn’t know how to write a press release, or was just being sloppy and didn’t properly edit their copy. Either way, it reflects poorly on the company, and that’s the last thing you want to happen.

    Here are a few steps to follow to ensure your copy is clean: (more…)

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  • Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

  • The “Four Ps” of marketing

    Remember the “Four Ps” of marketing? At the 2012 International BMA Conference, one of the speakers argued that the “Four Ps” have become outdated.

    Although many marketing challenges remain constant, Eduardo Conrado, senior VP-CMO at Motorola Solutions and BMA chairman, provided his take which I found to be spot on – all focusing around the customer. Here’s what he had to say:

    PRODUCT should evolve into solutions and the ultimate impact on customer need.

    PRICE moves to value and the insights we offer for customers.

    PROMOTION evolves into education and how we engage with those customers.

    PLACE is increasingly mobile these days.

    It’s been more than 40 years since Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) showed a chocolate bar broken up “into millions and millions of tiny pieces … whizzing over their heads” to the TV screen so Charlie could reach in and grab it. While we aren’t close to being able to reach into the screen and pull out the candy bar yet, it looks like the next best thing might be just about here.

    Twenty-seven percent of TV sets shipped worldwide in Q1 of 2012 had internet connectivity. With Web connectivity on its way to becoming standard on TVs, this opens the door to all sorts of wide-spread direct marketing opportunities and communications campaigns. Do product research by moving your TV’s cursor to “click for more information.” Watch DRTV commercials that allow for immediate purchase. The Home Shopping Network’s sales may explode with the removal of that last barrier of actually needing to talk to someone.

    Watch for “buy now” linkage currently seen on music streaming services, like Pandora, where you can click to link to iTunes to buy the song you just heard. Imagine clicking on any product you see and linking to Amazon or the networks’ online store to buy it. (Yes, I do want Don Draper’s suit and those awesome retro high-ball glasses.)

    In the future, do commercial breaks go away altogether in favor of heavy product placement? Does every TV network essentially become a home shopping store controlling the merchandising of the products they feature? Put a credit card swiper in my remote. It sure will be handy, but will TV be any fun to watch?

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